The spice may flow on Arrakis sooner than expected, now that Denis Villeneuve is (reportedly) eying a February 2019 production start date on his Dune movie. The Sicario and Arrival director has been taking a bit a bit of a break since he released Blade Runner 2049 last fall (his fifth movie in as many years). This in turn has given Forrest Gump and Munich writer Eric Roth additional time to get his Dune script into shooting shape before Villeneuve starts rolling camera on his latest sci-fi venture.
With its grand visuals of a desert planet where giant sandworms roam and a story full of political intrigue and subtext, it's no wonder that Villeneuve loves Frank Herbert's original 1965 Dune novel and has described his film adaption as "the project of my life". From the perspective of Dune rights holder Legendary, the director is probably its dream pick to kick off what could become a multi-installment sci-fi saga that lives up to his description of the property as "Star Wars for adults". For related reasons, it seems the studio and Villeneuve alike are eager to get going on the project.
According to Omega Underground, Villeneuve is planning a return trip to Orgio Film Studios in Budapest, Hungary (the same place where he shot his Blade Runner sequel) for principal photography on Dune. The project doesn't have an official release date and there haven't been any casting rumors or updates just yet (save for Zoe Saldana saying she really wants a role in the movie), but if Villeneuve really is thinking about a February start date, then that should change in the foreseeable future.
The Dune mythology has gotten pretty complicated over the course of the past fifty years and multiple sequel, prequel, and spinoff novels, but Herbert's original story about a royal family struggling for control of a planet is a narrative that has always begged for a proper screen interpretation. While David Lynch's 1984 Dune movie adaptation and the 2000s TV miniseries certainly have their fans, neither of them is widely considered a definitive take on the source material. Villeneuve, on the other hand, really does seem like the guy who could finally crack the Dune code, not least of all with a sizable budget at his disposal to do justice by the story's spectacle.
That's all the more reason to hope this report is accurate and Villeneuve is ready and wiling to get the ball rolling on Dune within the next seven months or so. Whether you're already a fan of the franchise or a newcomer to this world of spice and sandworms, the prospect of more thought-provoking and meticulously crafted science-fiction in the same vein as Arrival and Blade Runner 2049 is justification enough to be excited for this one.
We will let you know when Dune gets an official release date.
Source: Omega Underground